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Cruise Lines Expected to Set Sail This Summer

Cruise Lines

The Centers for Disease Control say it may happen as early as July 2021. 

At the end of April, cruise executives throughout the country received a long-awaited notice from the CDC: Travel may continue soon. But like all other travel industries in the post-pandemic world vaccine rates can make or break the deal.

The Washington Post reported cruise line industry leaders have pushed aggressively to get back to business. The CDC will allow it by mid-July as long as cruise lines can prove 98 percent of crew members and 95 percent of customers have received their COVID-19 shots in arms.

It’s been 15 months since the Diamond Princess cruise ship made national headlines after 705 passengers and crew members contracted the novel coronavirus and the ship was forced to quarantine.

Last March, the U.S. State Department advised against travel by cruise ship, drydocking the industry until deemed safe to sail again. That begs the question: Is it time to hit the seas again?

“Need to sail again”

Some industry leaders say “yes,” and it’s time to celebrate the return of cruise line travel and vacation.

Last Sunday, two Carnival cruise ships returned to the Port of Galveston in Texas for the first time in a year. Galveston City officials and members of the Federal Maritime Commission joined in what they dubbed “Cruise Restart Rally.” Why Galveston?

“Galveston’s cruise business generates $1.6 billion in expenditures annually and 27,000 jobs statewide,” according to an announcement of the event.

News reports say 300 crew members of the Carnival Breeze and Carnival Vista were vaccinated at a public event. Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president, expressed gratitude for the crew members and government agencies joining together for one cause.

“Today was yet another significant milestone in our efforts to resume cruising in the U.S.,” Duffy said.  “This event sent a strong and unified message that we need to start sailing again.”